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JOCK SCHOOLS U.S.A.
Steve Rushin
April 28, 1997
THE ULTIMATE TAILGATING, YALE-BAITING, CHEERLEADING, BEER BLEEDING GUIDE TO AMERICA'S BEST SPORTS COLLEGES
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April 28, 1997

Jock Schools U.s.a.

THE ULTIMATE TAILGATING, YALE-BAITING, CHEERLEADING, BEER BLEEDING GUIDE TO AMERICA'S BEST SPORTS COLLEGES

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As your guidance counselor, I have to ask the hard questions, such as "Is college right for you?" and "Which college is right for you?" and "Aren't guidance and counsel the same thing, when you think about it?" You'll find the answers to these and other questions in this informative new guide by the authors of Smoking Stunts Your Growth and So You Wanna Be a Chiropractor? Enjoy.

IS COLLEGE RIGHT FOR YOU?

If you think college is all fun and games, well, you got that right. College is all fun and games—or can be, if you play your cards right. And you can learn to play your cards right at UNLV, which offers a course called Mathematics of Casino Games. Which is not to say that college is all about keno and baccarat. On the contrary: College is also very much about flag floopball (football using a Nerf ball), which you can play at Western Carolina. In fact, at your modern American institution of higher learning, you can earn a bowling scholarship ( Wichita State). Or take a course in coaching football ( Florida [page 84] and elsewhere). Or compete in an intramural chili cook-off ( Boise State). Or play 36 holes a day on campus (dozens of schools). Or practically take root in a sports bar called Bubba's II (page 84). Or just sit in your dorm room all day and watch ESPN in your underwear. All of which is why they call it a bachelor's degree. In short, if you like to play sports, watch sports or study sports (in preparation for an exciting career in sports); if you believe that athletic scholarship is a redundancy, ranking right up there with guidance counselor; if you enjoy the kind of tailgating, Yale-baiting, cheerleading, beer-bleeding sports scene that only a college campus can provide, then college is most certainly for you.

But not just any college will do. You have to attend a Jock School.

WHAT IS A JOCK SCHOOL?

A Jock School is any college or university in which sports are central to campus life, a place where sports-minded students can flourish. Stanford is a Jock School. Princeton is a Jock School. Cal is Jock School. Which is to say, you can get a world-class education at a Jock School, just as you can get a salad at McDonald's. But that's not why you go there, is it?

No, in selecting the proper Jock School for you, academics are, well...academic. Pay no attention to the library, unless it was built by the guy who founded Nike (page 82). Ask not "Are tutors available for remedial study?" but rather "Are the song girls available for private parties?" (They are at USC, though the band comes with them.) Why fill that pointy head of yours with fancy book-learnin' when you could be watching baseball at Mississippi State's remarkable Dudy Noble Field (page 84)? Education may be noble, but it is hardly your dudy.

"Education," somebody once said, "is what remains after you have forgotten everything you have learned." To which an educated person might say "b.s.," which does not, in this instance, stand for bachelor of science. Instead, what remains after you have forgotten everything you have learned in college is...a moth-eaten letter sweater...your football season tickets...a rooting interest in the NCAA basketball tournament...a trick knee you wrecked at the rec center...a lifetime of writing booster checks...a police record from Sugar Bowl weekend, 1958...your cheerleader wife...your quarterback husband...photographs that will prevent you from ever seeking public office (Nude Olympics, page 74).

Sports, not academics, provide the public face for a university. As Bear Bryant said, "It's kind of hard to rally around a math class." Writer Christopher Buckley notes in his book Wry Martinis that Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died three days before the Harvard-Yale game in 1975—and that, on the eve of the game, three Yale students scrambled up onto a prominent billboard near campus and painted the following:

NOV. 19—FRANCO
NOV. 22—HARVARD

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